12 Apr 2007

Tuvalu urges emission cuts to avoid rising seas

3:10 pm on 12 April 2007

Tuvalu's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is asking the international community to cut its carbon emissions to save Tuvalu from rising seas.

A study released this week into small islands for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that islands in the South Pacific are already experiencing the effects of climate change.

The permanent secretary for natural resources and environment, Minute Alapati Taupo, says scientists have predicted that if the current rate of carbon emissions continues, Tuvalu, now only three metres above sea level, will be under the sea in fifty years.

He says there's been no progress from large countries in cutting their emissions and while Tuvalu is vulnerable to natural disasters, no one wants to leave.

"New Zealand has been introducing migratory schemes that would enable Tuvalu people to move, but we don't want to say that we are moving elsewhere. Us Tuvaluans we want to retain our sovereignty, we want to retain our identity. The last thing that we want to see is moving away from our country."

That was Minute Alapati Taupo.